PETA asks Spokane to get rid of 4th of July fireworks display - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

PETA asks Spokane to get rid of 4th of July fireworks display

SPOKANE, Wash. - The national animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has challenged Spokane Mayor Mary Verner to put a stop to not only a long time Spokane tradition, but a national one as well.

PETA has requested Spokane halt its annual professional Fourth of July fireworks display, held in Riverfront Park and instead host a laser light show.

The request follows an incident on this year's Fourth when Spokane Police K-9 Officer "JJ" was startled by the fireworks and escaped from his kennel at the police training center.

In a letter to Mayor Verner, PETA requested that Spokane make an effort to protect dogs, like JJ, by halting the annual display and introducing a more quiet version.

"Animals don't know that fireworks are supposed to represent 'bombs bursting in air'-they only know that they're loud and threatening," says PETA Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch. "By switching to laser shows, Spokane can wow spectators and protect pooches and other animals at the same time."

PETA says that animals don't realize the explosions are entertainment and they do extreme things in an effort to flee.

A spokesperson for Spokane says the City appreciates PETA's opinion, though JJ escaped as a result of illegal fireworks being set off, not because of the city's professional fireworks show.

The spokesperson says if there is enough concern from city residents, officials will take a look at different options. Otherwise, the city believes most citizens enjoy the show and has done its part to protect land, property, people and animals by banning fireworks for the past 17 years.

JJ was found the next morning.

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